Zoo Watch: Baby giraffe born at Whipsnade Zoo
- Credit: Archant
A six-foot tall newborn baby giraffe was recently welcomed into the herd at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
The baby reticulated giraffe was born at the end of April to first-time mum Luna and dad Bashu. He has been named Khari, which means 'king-like' in Swahili, because of his 'regal-looking ossicones' (the tiny horns on a giraffe's head).
Born as part of the European Breeding Programme for Endangered Species, the calf already stands head and shoulders above most of the zoo's residents at almost six-feet tall.
ZSL team leader Mark Holden said: "First-time mum Luna is doing a sterling job of looking after Khari - positively doting on her new arrival, while feeding and cleaning him regularly.
"However, the birth was definitely a family affair; Dad Bashu was rubbing Luna's neck encouragingly during her four-hour labour, while grandmother Ijuma helped to clean the youngster after the birth - and they've all since continued to be very involved in Khari's care."
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Giraffe calves way around 150lbs when they're born, more than 20 times the average 7lbs human. Giraffes also give birth standing up, meaning their calves fall six-feet to the ground hooves-first, before learning to walk within an hour.
Mark said: "Khari is a very confident calf, just like his father, Bashu, and is very inquisitive about his new surroundings - he's spent the past week tottering around the Giraffe House exploring every inch of his new home.
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"Under his parents' watchful gaze, Khari has even started to tentatively venture outside, so lucky visitors should be able to spot him stretching his legs."